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The Routledge History of Rural America charts the course of rural life in the United States, raising questions about what makes a place rural and how rural places have shaped the history of the nation. Bringing together leading scholars to analyze a wide array of themes in rural history and culture, this text is a state-of-the-art resource for students, scholars, and educators at all levels. This Routledge History provides a regional context for understanding change in rural communities across America and examines a number of areas where the history of rural people has deviated from the American mainstream. Readers will come away with an enhanced understanding of the interplay between urban and rural areas, a knowledge of the regional differences within the rural United States, and an awareness of the importance of agriculture and rural life to American society.

The book is divided into four main sections: regions of rural America, rural lives in context, change and development, and resources for scholars and teachers. Examining the essays on the regions of rural America, readers can discover what makes New England different from the South, and why the Midwest and Mountain West are quite different places. The chapters on rural lives provide an entrée into the social and cultural history of rural peoples – women, children and men – as well as a description of some of the forces shaping rural communities, such as immigration, race and religious difference. Chapters on change and development examine the forces molding the countryside, such as rural-urban tensions, technological change and increasing globalization. The final section will help scholars and educators integrate rural history into their research, writing, and classrooms. By breaking the field of rural history into so many pieces, this volume adds depth and complexity to the history of the United States, shedding light on an understudied aspect of the American mythology and beliefs about the American dream.

ISBN:

9780415832922

Publication Date:

2016

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

City:

New York, NY

Disciplines:

Agricultural Education | History | Rural Sociology | Social History

Comments

This accepted manuscript of the introduction "What and Where is Rural America, and Why Should We Care?" in The Routledge History of Rural America published by Routledge, edited by Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, 2016, available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-History-of-Rural-America/Riney-Kehrberg/p/book/9781138482890. Posted with permission.

Introduction: What and Where is Rural American, and Why Should We Care?

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